Every business knows the significance of having a presence in Google search results. There are over 5.9 million searches made on Google per minute. This translates to roughly 8.5 billion searches per day. That’s A LOT of searches. Some of which have the potential to turn into your site visitors and even your paying clients and customers.
Given the potential of Google for business, we just had to get in the game. And guess what? After just a year of working on our site Jibble, we have managed to rake in tens of millions of site visitors and ultimately dominate the cut-throat time tracking niche.
Here are the guiding principles on how we did it:
- Average content is useless
- Less is more
- Not all topics are worth writing about.
- Follow the rules of Google
- Optimize, optimize, optimize
- Keep at it!
Average content is useless
This has become the creed of everyone on our content team.
We believe that bad content is worse than useless; average content is useless, but well-thought-out, original, and intelligent content is discernible from the rest and is the only content in the plethora of junk out there that gets noticed, read, and generates traffic.
Whenever I say this to the new writers we hire, they get a bit of culture shock. Mainly because in their previous writing gigs, they were tasked to produce as much content as possible on the daily, with little to no mind if they were actually giving value to readers.
We don’t work that way. Unlike most companies, we compensate our writers based on the hours they dedicate to crafting quality content rather than the number of words they write. If an article requires 8 hours or more to make it as detailed and comprehensive as necessary, then so be it.
Each article we publish is screened personally by me or our highly-experienced content managers. We also have a peer review system in place, wherein each writer reviews and gives feedback on another writer’s work. It’s not only a good way to double-check the quality of our articles but also a great way to exchange ideas and improve based on constructive feedback, which is a win-win.
It’s not the easiest and quickest process, but you need to ensure that what you put out there gives readers value. I can’t stress this enough, especially with the rise of AI-generated content spamming the internet (nothing against AI, of course, as long as it’s used with some integrity). You can publish hundreds of thoughtless and AI-written content out there, but readers and Google will easily be able to tell the difference. It may initially attract some visitors to your site, but it’s going to be a short-lived boost and may even harm your site in the long run. Not worth it.
To assess if what you’re putting out there is quality content, it also helps to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- Does it help the reader accomplish what they’re looking for?
- Does it achieve your end goal (traffic, conversions, etc.)?
- Are people consuming most or all of it?
Growing your site traffic on Google is a long game. And you best believe quality content will trump bad and average content every single time.
Less is more
Let’s face it, no one has time to read a waffle. Most readers want to find the information they’re looking for, quickly and easily. An unnecessarily long article won’t let them do that.
You want to be concise but also informative and engaging. It’s a tough balancing act but there are ways to go around it. If the topic demands a comprehensive article, try to break it down into smaller sections, or better yet, smaller and more focused articles. It’s also good practice to provide an outline right at the start of a lengthy article. This lets readers identify which section they can jump into to find the information they’re most interested in.
Make it easy for readers to find what they’re looking for BUT write in a way that makes them actually want to keep reading on.
Not all topics are worth writing about.
You want to be intentional when it comes to choosing what sort of topics to include in your content plan. Sure, a topic may sound interesting, but is it relevant to your niche? Are people actively searching for it? Is there enough demand to justify investing time and resources into creating content on this subject?
Understanding the search landscape can help you prioritize topics that have the potential to drive traffic and engagement.
One of the main tools we use to decide on what to write about is Google Search Console. It’s a pretty basic but comprehensive tool where you can see which of your content is performing well, what queries people are using to end up on your site, and areas where you can optimize your content strategy further.
Start by building on the content you’re already performing well on. For instance, we had a Florida labor law article that we performed extremely well on, so we decided to create more focused labor law guides for Florida businesses. We also decided to expand our labor law guides to other states and countries.
You can also create new content based on user searches. If you see a high number of queries for a certain keyword, then chances are that there’s significant interest in that topic. By addressing these user queries with relevant content, you not only satisfy the immediate informational needs of your audience but also position your website as a valuable resource in your niche.
By being selective about the topics you choose to explore, you can ensure that your content remains focused, engaging, and valuable to your audience. It also ensures you’re not wasting valuable time on writing articles that no one is interested in reading. This strategic approach allows you to maximize the impact of your content efforts and maintain consistency in delivering meaningful experiences to your readers.
Follow the rules of Google
If you want to win on Google, you’ll need to follow its rules. And one of the most important ones is E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). This criteria is outlined in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, a manual that actual people use to assess the quality of search results.
In a nutshell, here’s what each factor in the E-E-A-T criteria entails:
- Experience: Experience is all about showcasing firsthand experience with the topic. Would you trust a product review from someone who has actually used it versus content from someone without that direct experience? Google searchers will always go for the former rather than the latter.
- Expertise: Expertise refers to how much of an expert the article’s author is in the subject matter. It’s about understanding if the person who wrote the content has the necessary knowledge, qualifications, and credentials to provide reliable information. As the CEO of a time tracking software myself, I can easily be seen as an expert in the time tracking niche. Same as how an accountant or stockbroker might be seen as a financial expert. And this expertise has helped our content grow tremendously.
- Authoritativeness: Authoritativeness focuses on your overall reputation in your industry, particularly among experts and influencers in your niche. Google considers the author, the content, and the website to assess authoritativeness.
- Trustworthiness: Trust in this context primarily relies on the accuracy, accessibility, and validity of the information your business presents. Factors that contribute to trustworthiness also include maintaining strong website security and publishing factually accurate information. These considerations collectively contribute to building trust and credibility in the eyes of both users and Google evaluators.
While Google claims that E-E-A-T isn’t directly used for ranking signals, it does align with the principles upheld by Google’s ranking algorithms. And when people trust your content, so does the search engine.
Optimize, optimize, optimize
This is more on the technical side. But you don’t need to be an expert to start with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You can start with the basics.
SEO is all about optimizing your online presence and visibility, making it easier for search engines like Google to understand and rank your content. Some of the areas in SEO that you can start with include:
- Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords related to your niche. No matter how good your content is, if no one is searching for it, it’s not going to do you much good!
- Clear URL Structure: Ensure your website and pages have clean and organized URL structures. Clear and concise URLs make it easier for both users and search engines to understand your page content.
- Meta Descriptions: Craft compelling meta descriptions for your pages. These snippets play a role in attracting clicks from search results and should provide a concise summary of your content.
- Image Optimization: Optimize images by using descriptive file names and adding alt text. This improves accessibility and helps search engines understand the content of your images.
- Build Topic Clusters: Organize your content into topic clusters. Create pillar content around core topics and support it with related subtopics. This helps search engines understand the depth of your expertise.
- Backlinks from High-Authority Sites: Acquire backlinks from reputable and high-authority websites within your industry. Quality over quantity matters in link building.
You can learn SEO as you go. I mean, we were far from SEO experts when we started. The most important thing is to just learn the basics and GET STARTED.
Keep at it!
As I said earlier, growing your site traffic and dominating on Google is a long game. Don’t expect a million visitors in just a month! It’s not a magic trick.
The key to growing on Google is to stay consistent with your efforts. Regularly update your content to keep it fresh, keep up with changes in search engine algorithms, and try to engage with your audience. It’s also best to monitor your website analytics to understand what works and what doesn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Consistency signals to Google that your website is active and valuable. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results; keep refining your strategy until you dominate your niche. That’s what we did. And if it worked for us, it could work for you too. Cheers!